top Photo © President and Fellows of Harvard College
Identification and Creation
Object Number
Lutf `Ali Shirazi
Pen Box with European Women and Birds in a Landscape
Artists' Tools
Work Type
pen box
Creation Place: Middle East, Iran, Shiraz
Qajar period
Persistent Link
Physical Descriptions
Opaque watercolor, gold-colored pigments, and lacquer on pasteboard
3 × 3.3 × 21.6 cm (1 3/16 × 1 5/16 × 8 1/2 in.)
Inscriptions and Marks
  • inscription:
    رقم کمترین لوظفعلي ۱۲۷۳

    Painted by the most humble Lutf `Ali 1856-57
Ezzat-Malek Soudavar, Geneva, Switzerland (by 2014), by descent; to her son Abolala Soudavar, Houston, Texas (2014), gift; to Harvard Art Museums, 2014.

Ezzat-Malek Soudavar (1913-2014) formed this collection over a period of sixty years. She purchased the works of art on the international art market.
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Gift of A. Soudavar in memory of his mother Ezzat-Malek Soudavar
Accession Year
Object Number
Asian and Mediterranean Art
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Cover and sliding compartment with rounded ends. The top is decorated in vertical format with a young girl in European dress and an apron full of flowers. A smaller female with an apron full of flowers arranges flowers in her hair at the bottom. A spotted dog sits at her feet. The figures are surrounded by flowers and bird-filled trees against a light brown ground. The sides are virtually identical, with an architectural vignette enclosed by trees and flowers in the center; on either side of the vignette, a floral spray extends to the ends. The base and sliding compartment are decorated with trees, shrubs, and buildings painted in gold on a red background.
Publication History

Basil William Robinson, Qajar Lacquer, Muqarnas (1988), vol. VI, pp. 131-146, fig. 17

Massumeh Farhad and Mary McWilliams, ed., A Collector’s Passion: Ezzat-Malek Soudavar and Persian Lacquer, Harvard Art Museums and Freer/Sackler Galleries, Smithsonian Institution (Cambridge, MA/Washington, D.C., 2017), p. 128, cat. 87

This record has been reviewed by the curatorial staff but may be incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of Asian and Mediterranean Art at